Well, this bird flu thing has got to Turkey, which not too far from sunny Italy. It appears that the people who caught this severe form of flu, caught it from birds. From what I understand wild birds can transmit the virus to domestic birds. The people who keep these domestic birds then come into contact with their excrement or blood and thus contract this form of flu. So far, the experts are saying, there have been no cases of the human form of bird flu being passed directly from one person to another. All well and goodish.
My conclusion: It is unlikely that those who do not keep or work with birds will contract this flu.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
This sort of allayed my fears until I thought about the pigeon poo on our balcony and all the pigeons which reside in the eaves of our appartment building. It would not be beyond the actions of a two year old to go sticking his little fingers in pigeon poo. Worries me this does. Yet what can we do? Not a fat lot. Live in hope.
I did think about eliminating the pigeons initially, but there are so many that this would be virtually impossible and I would feel sorry for the poor beasties. I also learnt that, whereas in the UK pigeons are considered pests and may be shot, here in Italy it is actually illegal to shoot or attempt to kill the things by any other method. I find this a little odd in a country which serves up tiny little birds, frogs, snails, horse and donkey. Still, I guess you cannot eat pigeons (would you even want to eat the diseased feather dusters you find in cities) in Italy, which would seem to be odd seeing as you can eat just about everything else.